MISSOULA — Raymond John Moe, 46, passed away Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in an avalanche while "snow biking" in Island Park, Idaho.
Ray was born on Feb. 27, 1971, in Great Falls. Throughout his childhood and teen years, Ray attended school in Bigfork and played football and basketball for the Bigfork Vikings, graduating in 1989.
After high school, Ray enlisted and served in the United States Army. While stationed in Bamberg, Germany, he served in Iraq as part of Desert Storm, acquiring friendships, skills, and interest that would follow him throughout his life. Ray loved his country, and was a true patriot.
While stationed in Germany, Ray and Andrea Vanness had a son, Michael. In 1994, Ray married Launi Salcido. During their 20-year marriage, they welcomed two children, Jordan and Alli. In 2014, Ray found the love of his life, Julie McFadden-Lackner.
Professionally, Ray ventured into the car wash business, purchasing MOEShine in Billings. Several years later, he became the owner-operator of the popular Rods N Dogs in Missoula and Helena, Ray was a familiar face in both Missoula and Frenchtown. He coached both youth basketball and softball in Frenchtown and was an active booster for school events, always willing to lend a hand and lend support to his children's and his bonus children's many activities. Ray's famous "Griz Bus" was a highlight of the tailgate section at Grizzly football games for many years. Ray enjoyed playing hockey with the Silver Slippers, and he was an avid winter and summer outdoor enthusiast.
Ray's gift to everyone he knew was his deep caring soul. As a young man, he raised $12,000 to aid his best friend's family as they struggled to provide a bone marrow transplant for their young son. When his young cousin was being bullied at her new school, Ray offered to drop her off at a school event where he proceeded to definitively silence her tormentors.
Ray lived every day to its fullest. He had a knack for making even the mundane special. When it came to special occasions, he made holidays unforgettable, filled with ridiculous costumes and complicated competitions that he almost always won. However, with Ray, each day, each hour, and each minute was a holiday. Grinning from ear to ear, hugging you like a long-lost friend, he had the ability to make you feel as if you were special and his best friend in the world. And in fact, with Ray, you were.
Ray is preceded in death by his father, Daryl Moe. He is survived by his children, Michael, Jordan and Allison; his ex-wife, Launi; his loving soulmate, Julie and his "bonus" children Jake, Jestine and Dane; his mother and stepfather, Rayla and Monte Romain; his brothers, Jason Moe, Nate (Lindsey) Romain and his sister Shannon Romain, as well as his nephews and niece Mason, Peyton, Baeden and Aspyn.
Ray Moe was a man of boundless energy, whose character and spirit were larger than life. His heart was as big and beautiful as the state he loved; Montana. He had an infectious, unquenchable love for life that is reflected in the way he lived his each and every day. His passing leaves a space for countless people that can never be filled. He is one in a million.
Ray's life will be honored with a celebration at the Wilma Theatre in Missoula on Sunday, Jan, 28, at 1:30 p.m. Ray would love to see you in your red, white and blue to honor his country. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children of Raymond Moe at Opportunity Bank of Missoula. Condolences may be left for the family at dalyleachchapel.com.